Progress made on Snowden Avenue affordable housing

Ordinance passed on second reading meets another requirement


The board of commissioners took another step toward the construction of 20 affordable housing units at Snowden Avenue at an Oct. 3 meeting.

Commissioners unanimously approved the retroactive (nunc pro tunc) release of the historic preservation easement on the Snowden property – known as Block 33 Lot 18.01 – that dates  back to 2008 and allows the borough property to be converted to a private entity. 

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“The state historic preservation office did sign off on the borough’s Snowden Avenue (affordable housing) parking lot application,” explained Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough at a   work session last month. “Going through a formal process for the release of the historic easement done in 2008 was one of the requirements they needed to do to have full compliance to move forward with the project. 

While there was some back-and-forth between resident John Van Dalen and Solicitor Salvatore Siciliano on the legality of the decision during the regular public comment session of this month’s meeting, Siciliano affirmed that according to legal research and guidance from the state, the ordinance was ready for approval at the session.

The commissioners also approved renewing membership in the Camden County Municipal Joint  Insurance Fund and adopted two new policies, one involving use of athletic fields and another for facility, parks and field reservation and use.

“For the spaces, fields and buildings and parks, essentially we’re working on a reservation system,” explained Commissioner Kevin Roche. “We’re working on a tiered system, if you will, with regards to use of the athletic fields based on seasons, based on sports, youth sports versus school sports versus nonprofit and for-profit entities, and basically putting more of an institutional and formalized process as far as approval and who has or gains access during certain points of the year.”

The policies are both available online under the Oct. 3 agenda and go into more detail about  what is permitted regarding the fields and who or what is responsible if they are damaged.

In other news:

  • Oct. 9 to 15 was proclaimed Fire Prevention Week. Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich encouraged residents to learn about fire safety at the Haddon Fire Co. 1’s annual Fire Prevention Night Open House Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 to 22 was proclaimed Friends of the Library Week in acknowledgement of the fundraising the friends do throughout the year to provide library resources, equipment, services and programming.
  • October is known nationally and in the borough as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “During the pandemic, we saw an increase in domestic violence and mental-health issues, so (passing this proclamation) is something I think is very important to do again this year, as we do it annually,” said Bianco Bezich.
  • Residents and retailers are invited to decorate their homes and storefronts for Haddonfield’s first haunted homes decorating contest. Interested participants should email with name, address and contact information by Friday. Voting will take place through Oct. 26, and winners will be announced on Oct. 28 at the Halloween night market.
  • Trick-or-treating hours on Halloween will be 2 to 6 p.m.

The next work session will be on Monday Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. 


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